Traffic and Red Light Cameras in Chicago, IL

With nearly three million residents and many millions more in the greater Chicagoland area, Chicago’s roadways are in a constant state of congestion. In a recent article, Chicago was cited as having the worst traffic in the U.S. This traffic results in an average of 100,000 car accidents annually.

The Chicago Police Department (CPD) has deployed 149 red light cameras at popular intersections to encourage safer driving. The city lists these intersections on a special map

Let’s explore how these traffic light cameras work and what you can do to stay safe and lawful while driving around Chicago.

How Do Traffic Light Cameras Work?

You’ve likely noticed cameras perched atop traffic lights on many of Chicago’s main intersections. These cameras operate continually and are synced to the activity of the traffic light. Using multiple vehicle sensors, the camera captures an image of the front and/or back license plate of any vehicle that runs a red light. 

This information is then directed to CPD’s traffic division, and the driver receives a letter in the mail that includes their citation and the evidence captured by the camera.

What Happens If I Get a Ticket?

A letter will be sent to your registered address within days of the potential violation. In the letter, you’ll see the official notice and pictures of your vehicle crossing the intersection. The notice will also include the fine amount and due date. Fines for running a red light in Chicago are $100. You have the right to access the complete camera footage of the incident in question.

Chicago gives drivers 21 days to pay or dispute their red light citations. If they don’t do so on time, the fee is doubled. As such, it’s important to pay close attention to the listed due date. 

Failure to pay red light tickets can result in the City of Chicago placing a boot on your vehicle or impounding it. Fortunately, tickets for red light camera violations will not count against your permanent driving record.

Tips For Avoiding Traffic Light Tickets in Chicago

Whether you’re momentarily distracted or running late, intersection crashes can happen to anyone. That said, there are better ways to spend $100 than paying red light tickets. Here are some tips for avoiding these pesky fines.

Drive the Speed Limit

You’ll be less tempted to run a yellow light if you’re driving the designated speed limit. Driving at a moderate speed gives you time to react to traffic light changes and prevents the indecisive limbo of crossing an intersection as the light transitions to red.

Know When the Light Will Change

A general rule of thumb for most traffic lights is that yellow lights last one second for every 10 mph of the set speed limit. Some lights round up for speed limits ending in five. For example, if the speed limit is 35 or 40 mph, the light will remain yellow for four seconds before turning red. 

Remember That Rolling Stops Are Violations 

Your vehicle must come to a complete stop before proceeding straight or turning at a traffic light. If you perform a rolling stop, the camera will register it as a traffic violation. 

Leave Early

Chicago has some of the most congested roadways in the world, and car accidents and delays are extremely common. With that in mind, it’s best to leave early so as not to feel rushed to beat every light on your trip.

Successfully Navigating Chicago’s Red Light Camera Intersections

Whether you’re a city native, a resident of greater Chicagoland, or a weekend visitor, you should be focused on enjoying your time in the Windy City. Staying informed and alert while driving around Chicago will keep you safer and help you avoid unnecessary fines.

Contact the Chicago Car Accident Law Firm of Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys for Help Today

For more information, please contact the experienced Chicago car accident lawyers at Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys today. We offer free consultations.

We proudly serve Cook County, Will County, Kendall County, and its surrounding areas:

Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys – Chicago Office
10 S La Salle St STE 1230, Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 726-1616

Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys – Joliet Office
195 Springfield Ave, Joliet, IL 60435
(815) 726-1616